1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Medieval Literature


  • ENMD 3110 Illicit Love

    1400-1515 MW - CABELL 345

    Instructor: A.C. Spearing

    In this course, after some introductory readings in love stories from ancient Rome and in troubadour lyrics, we shall read a variety of medieval narratives of adulterous and otherwise forbidden love, translated from medieval English, French, Italian and German, including tales of famous pairs of lovers such as Tristan and Iseult, Lancelot and Guinevere, and Troilus and Criseyde. Requirements: a group presentation, two papers, a mid-term, and a final exam.

  • ENMD 3250 Chaucer I: The Canterbury Tales

    1100-1215 TR - CABELL 337

    Instructor: Elizabeth Fowler

    Geoffrey Chaucer wrote one of the most influential collections of fiction ever published. This course introduces you to a selection of vivid Canterbury narratives, to Middle English, and to the literary practice we call “close reading.” You will learn to “explicate” short passages of text -- to describe rather technically how words, images, genre, tropes, figures of speech and so forth work to produce the effects we call meaning. At the same time, we will investigate the work as a series of puzzles and thought experiments, with attention to the themes of sexual difference, political society, mastery, love, violence, and consent. No previous experience with Middle English or Chaucer is required. It’s fine to take this if you’ve already had ENMD 326 (Chaucer II); this is a good course for first to fourth-years, beginners and Chaucer adepts alike.  Quizzes, two exams and two short papers.

  • ENMD 4500 Medieval Drama

    1530-1645 MWF - McLEOD 2008

    Instructor: John Parker

    This course will survey the greatest monuments of the medieval stage, from the drama of the Latin liturgy (in translation) to English morality plays and selections from the northern cycles, which drew their scenes from scripture and the apocrypha.  We'll ask, among other questions, what it means for drama to be "medieval" as opposed to classical or early modern; whether it is possible to stage the divine without blasphemy; and to what extent entertainment is compatible with moral didacticism.  A midterm and final, plus writing assignments.